With Apple continuing its efforts to expand its operations into consumer banking services, several of the largest U.S. banks have reportedly come together to introduce a new digital wallet customers will be able to use for online shopping. Seven banks are involved in the effort, including giants like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal.
The report cites “people familiar with the matter,” who claim that the new wallet is directly aimed at countering the digital payment services of companies like Apple and PayPal. As the WSJ report notes, Apple is perceived to be the biggest threat to the banks’ customer relationships, especially in light of its plans to introduce a buy now, pay later and savings account products.
The digital wallet is expected to be managed by the same company that handles the Zelle money-transfer system, Early Warning Services, LLC. EWS has apparently confirmed that the new wallet is expected to begin its rollout later this year and will be independently operated apart from the Zelle system.
The banks behind the effort are reportedly focused on ensuring that the new wallet provides a seamless experience for customers that is both simple and secure. The digital payment system would enable customers to make payments without entering the card numbers tied to their payment accounts, similar to the way that PayPal has long operated its online payment system.
EWS’ Zelle system was apparently considered for online shopping purposes, but the company decided against that expansion of capabilities due to the well-known issues surrounding fraud and transaction disputes.
The banks’ digital wallet is expected to launch with support from both Mastercard and Visa. Participating banks are hoping that as many as 150 million credit and debit card customers will have the option to use their wallet product when it is introduced.